What is fare capping, and how is this different from a bus pass?
Fare capping is a way for frequent passengers to save money on transit without the need to pay up front for a bus pass. This ensures that all users can take advantage of fare capping regardless of income. Fare capping also removes the commitment of buying a bus pass up front, allowing for flexibility for our riders.
Fare capping is automatically applied after a rider has spent a certain amount in a given day or calendar month. There is no need to sign up, and no need to purchase a special pass -- just load value onto your DiriGo smartcard or app and ride normally.
Fare capping only works with a DiriGo smartcard or the Umo Mobility app. More information can be found here.
How does fare capping save me money?
Fare capping saves money by providing free rides after a rider has paid a certain amount in fares in a given day or calendar month. Typically, fare capping activates after the third ride in a given day or 20th ride in a given calendar month.
For full-fare passengers riding local trips, fares are capped at $6 per day and $60 per month. Those qualifying for reduced fares also have reduced fare caps, meaning a reduced-fare rider will pay no more than $3 per day or $30 per month for local trips. For passengers using the BREEZ express route, fare caps (like single-ride fares) are doubled, at $12 per day and $120 per month for full-fare riders.
Why not just sell bus passes?
While bus passes work great for many people, there are several disadvantages compared to fare capping. Bus passes require an up-front payment, which some people are unable to afford. This up-front payment is also a commitment; some riders may not know what their ridership habits will be like, so a pass wouldn't make sense to those riders. Fare capping allows riders the flexibility to choose the mode that's right for them, and if they choose METRO often enough, they'll save the same amount of money as they would have if they'd bought a pass.
What if I use buses in South Portland or Biddeford?
Fare capping applies to the whole DiriGo system, which includes METRO, South Portland Bus Service, and Biddeford Saco Old Orchard Beach Transit (BSOOB). Fares paid on any of these services apply to your daily or monthly fare cap. Note that the BSOOB Route 70 (also known as the Purple Line or ZOOM Express) has a higher fare, and higher fare cap, than the METRO BREEZ.
Fare Capping Video -- LINK